Let me start off by saying this is a review written on impulse. I didn’t expect to write a review today and never thought I would even own the model I’m reviewing. There is a bit of a story here so get comfortable, maybe grab a drink. I think I might need one too, a stiff one.
Last week I placed an order for two dinosaur models I’ve been wanting for some time now. One was the Papo running Tyrannosaurus; the other was the Carnegie 2011 Carnotaurus re-sculpt. Waiting for a package to arrive is always intense. You check outside your door for it everyday, even if you know the arrival date and have a tracking number. When it finally does arrive it doesn’t matter that you know what’s in it, the process of opening still feels like opening a gift. That is unless, what’s in it is not what you were expecting or wanting.
It was a fairly large box I found on my front steps, as I imaged it would be. Both the previously mentioned models are quite large. Once opened I was greeted by the stunning yet inaccurate Papo Tyrannosaurus and after admiring it set about looking for the other. At first I thought it was forgotten because it should be sitting right there but hiding under the packaging, there was a Carnotaurus. It was not the Carnotaurus mind you but it was a Carnotaurus.
Instead of the beautiful, dynamic and accurate 2011 Carnegie Carnotaurus I pulled out that other Carnotaurus, the small cheap looking 1996 model by the same company. Needless to say I went through some stages of anger and grief but then it occurred to me…I could review this thing. So now before I go through the hoops required to acquire the model I actually paid for I’m doing this. And yeah, I’m a bit bitter about it so bare with me.
Carnegie was sculpting better looking theropods in the 1980’s. That said, it is kind of cute and has a certain charm. It’s a toy though and while the new model is also a toy it is also an accurate well crafted collectable. At 3” tall and about 7” long the model does fit in to the 1:40 scale that Carnegie use to strive for. It’s very small but the actual animal wasn’t very big despite what the Disney movie may have told you. It stands in the typical tripod pose, arms outstretched and mouth agape. Not very dynamic, akin to so many open-mouthed Chinasaurs produced in years prior. Superficially it does look like a Carnotaurus but I think some of the Disney merchandise probably did the animal more justice. The brow horns are there, the short stubby arms, a series of raised scutes run along the back.
The paint is pretty awful with a lot of run-off and the overall green body color does nothing to help it look less cheap. The horns and scutes are orange as well as much of the raised wrinkles and scales on the body. It almost looks like it has suffered a lot of paint rub off but it was an intentional choice. The green paint job is actually a repaint from 2007 (maybe that’s why they sent me the “new” Carnotaurus by mistake). The original model was grey and black and while it didn’t help much it certainly looks more appealing than the green and orange on the “newer” model.
There really isn’t much more to say about this thing, it is absolutely a toy and stands glaringly apart from most of an otherwise stellar collection. I won’t bother getting into details of accuracy because; well, just look at it! I see no reason why anyone should feel compelled to own this model unless they’re a Carnegie completist or are somehow enamored by its cuteness. It is in the 1:40 scale so if that is something important to you than you might want to consider the 1996 Carnegie Carnotaurus. As for mine and what will become of it? I’m going to have to return it to the seller. Hopefully this little guy will eventually find his way into a kid’s sandbox or somewhere he’ll be appreciated.